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December 1 is World AIDS Day

November 30, 2015
man holding up a poster that reads WORLD AIDS DAYMichael Gottlieb '73M (MD), examines AIDS awareness posters that are part of the AIDS Education Posters Collection, a collection of more than 6,500 AIDS education posters from around the world. Gottlieb, a graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, was the first to identify the disease that would come to be known as AIDS.

World AIDS Day Events


Monday, November 30

  • AIDS Education Posters Translation Project
    7-9 p.m., Hawkins Carlson Room in Rush Rhees Library
    Students will share their experiences working to translate a selection of German, Spanish, French, and Japanese posters.

Tuesday, December 1

December 1 marks the 28th annual World AIDS Day, an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died.

Medical Center researchers test new way to protect people from HIV

November 19, 2-15: A new study, led by the University’s HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (also known as the Rochester Victory Alliance), will test an experimental antibody against HIV. Traditionally, people get a vaccine and researchers wait to see if they make effective antibodies–proteins produced by our immune system to fight infections–in response to the vaccine. In this study, researchers will skip that step and give people the antibody directly.

The research community is very excited about the trial, called “AMP”, which stands for “Antibody Mediated Prevention.”

“The AMP study holds promise as a pathway to an HIV vaccine. If it prevents transmission it proves the principle that antibodies are protective, and a vaccine is the next logical step,” said Michael Gottlieb ’73M (MD), associate clinical professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “The University of Rochester has a remarkable track record in HIV research and vaccine development, so it is easy to understand why the University was selected as a site for this important study.”

Gottlieb, who attended medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and completed his residency at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital, is one of the most renowned HIV/AIDS specialists in the world. In 1981, he made history when he identified AIDS as a new disease.

>> Learn more about this Rochester research into improved HIV vaccines

River Campus Libraries home to one of world’s largest online collections of AIDS posters

Collage of many AIDS posters

Thanks to catalogers at the University of Rochester, more than 6,200 posters from 124 countries in 68 languages and dialects can be viewed by anyone with web access. The AIDS Education Posters Collection was donated to the University’s Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation by retired physician and alumnus Dr. Edward C. Atwater ’50, an emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Atwater began collecting the posters in 1990. The posters provide a visual history of the first three decades of the HIV/AIDS crisis from 1981 to the present. Depending on their audience, creators of the posters used stereotypes, scare tactics, provocative language, imagery, and even humor to educate the public about the disease.

>> Search one of the largest collections of AIDS health education posters in the world

City of Rochester will light up red for World AIDS Day

For the first time since the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, several buildings in the city of Rochester will light up red in observance of World AIDS Day, a global event that serves as a yearly reminder of the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS. Rochester City Hall, Rundell Memorial Library, Third Presbyterian Church, One East Avenue, and Xerox Tower will swap their conventional light bulbs for red ones on December 1 as a show of support for those living with HIV in our community, and in remembrance of those who have succumbed to the infection in Rochester and beyond.

Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D., vice dean of research and director of the UR Center for AIDS Research, and Michael C. Keefer, M.D., director of the Rochester Victory Alliance say that a key mission of their organizations is to build greater awareness of HIV/AIDS. “The image of our downtown buildings lit up red will make a powerful and moving tribute to persons living with HIV, and to the need to continue the fight until we end this disease,” they added.

“The real fight against HIV takes more than just a doctor or a pill,” noted John P. Cullen, Ph.D., Coordinator for Outreach at the Susan B. Anthony Center, which focuses on community engagement, particularly translating research into policies that benefit the community. “It begins with community awareness and education to end stigma and discrimination and getting more people involved in the effort to end the epidemic.”

>> Learn more about Rochester’s “Red” campaign

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Category: Science & Technology